CHINESE JOURNALIST SHI TAO: TEN YEARS FOR AN EMAIL

I just received this from Amnesty International, and can barely even comprehend the madness and sickness of it, in this bizarre thing called the human species. I thought I could at least put it out on the blog.

From his mother:

“[Shi Tao] has only done what a courageous journalist should do. That is why he has got the support and the sympathy from his colleagues all over the world who uphold justice.”
—Shi Tao’s mother, on accepting a press freedom award on his behalf

From Amnesty International:

[Shi Tao, a freelance journalist, writer, and poet] was detained in 2004 on the basis of an email he sent to a pro-democracy contact in the United States, in which he summarized instructions from the Central Propaganda Department about the correct political response journalists ought to take toward the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Shi Tao says the police had no warrant for his arrest or for the search of his home, computer, and notebooks. Three weeks later he was charged with “illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities.”

He was then isolated from family, his lawyer, and other prisoners until 25 January 2005. On 30 April 2005, after a two-hour secret trial, the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Shi Tao to 10 years in prison.

Shi Tao remains in prison.

Journalists worldwide are standing behind Shi Tao. Please join them.

Quoting Shi Tao:

“Facing such tremendous adversities, I feel no shame, and I have not lost confidence in my future.”
—Shi Tao

I have no idea what needs to be added, except gratitude, compassion, love, hope, courage, strength, kindness, joy, integrity, humility—and discernment. I felt a chill of fear shoot down me.

The freedom of expression we have in Canada is so incredible, and understanding how it came to be, and how to protect it, and how to expand it (and trying to understand at all the vast polarities, beliefs and compulsions within human beings), is so profound, and also intimidating, because all concepts, zeitgeists and beliefs shift and change for seeming obvious and yet countless mysterious reasons.

That the Olympics—these games of so-called international cooperation—are being held in Beijing, of course, this year, is both paradoxical and discerning. One can only hope by association the level of freedom of speech expands (and Shi Tao, and all the thousands of other political prisoners, are released).

Signing the petition is free. The Amnesty International link is here. It takes about ten seconds. In countless cases, pressure really does help.

May you sleep well tonight, and may the world be improving. Lots of love to you and yours,

Pete

Share

2 Responses to “CHINESE JOURNALIST SHI TAO: TEN YEARS FOR AN EMAIL”

  1. Erynn says:

    Words are such powerful things.

    It astonishes me continually that people will be so cruel to each other, and gives me great hope that people continue to resist despite intolerable odds.

    Amnesty is a cause I support as often as possible. Thank you for posting about Shi Tao’s situation.

  2. […] If you get a chance, see the previous blog about Shi Tao, the Chines journalist who has been jailed for sending an email to a pro-democracy correspondent (I believe in theStates) “in which [Shi Tao] summarized instructions from the Central Propaganda Department about the correct political response journalists ought to take toward the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.” […]

Leave a Reply